The cannabis industry’s growth is surpassing everyone’s estimates, possibly having already reached $50 billion. Originally Cowen & Co., one of the world’s top researching firms, estimated that if marijuana legalization happened nationally soon, then the industry could potentially reach $50 billion by 2026. Now they believe that even though marijuana is still federally prohibited, the industry has already reach the mark. At this rate, marijuana’s growth could have it surpassing the soda pop industry by 2030, reaching $75 billion.
With the industries’ diverging trajectories, weed may be poised to take the mantle as the larger industry. Cannabis is growing rapidly as more states legalize the plant. Nine states and Washington, D.C., now allow for recreational pot use. That means more than one in five American adults can smoke, vape, eat or drink it however they please. Cowen previously predicted that the market, assuming federal legalization, would reach $50 billion by 2026. That seems small now, according to analyst Vivien Azer.
“New forecasts suggest that the market is already that size,” she said in a note Wednesday.
According to polls from Pew Research Center, 61% of Americans support national legalization of cannabis. Since 1 in 5 American can access legal marijuana already, it is easy to see why the industry could experience such growth so rapidly, especially if federal prohibition ended.
Most of the likely democratic candidates that would run for president in 2020 support national legalization of marijuana, so the idea of marijuana prohibition ending is not so far fetched. If marijuana can top the soda pop industry, that says quite a bit. It not only implies that the people of the United States have greatly desired marijuana legalization, but also that they perceive it as healthier than soda. The sugar content of soda has seen the industry lose money year-after-year as the country has become more health conscious.